Nigeria’s economy could earn as much as $560 billion from the Lekki Deep Seaport project when it eventually takes off in 2020, with an estimated $361 billion from the port’s concession in addition to $200billion from taxes and revenues, President Mohammadu Buhari hinted at the commissioning of the project in Lagos.
The project is also expected to create 170, 000 direct and indirect jobs, the President added.
Represented by the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the President said the port, when operational, would receive larger vessels such as Panamax and post-Panamax vessels and whilst targeting about 1.5 million 20-foot Equivalent Units (teus) container capacity annually, which is expected to grow to 2.7 million and 4.7 million teus when the port begins operation.
“The promoters of this project are targeting about 1.5 million teus container capacity yearly, which we expect to grow to about 2.7 million and 4.7 million teus when the project operation commences. With this, the Lekki Deep Seaport will become one of the best deep water ports in our region and serve as hub for port operations in the whole of West Africa.
“The promoters also planned to dredge the port channel to about 16 meters, which is not currently obtainable in any port in the country. This is an indication that ships of larger capacity, Panamax, post-Panamax ships and very large crude carriers will now be able to visit the port and greater efficiency and economies of scale will generate significant revenue for Nigeria’s economy.”
The Federal Government had in the previous budgets provided an aggregate of N90 billion for the development of special economic zones.
Earlier, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, had told investors to use the opportunity of the viability of the port to invest in the project.
“This port, which is expected to be delivered by 2020, will be one of the biggest in the West African sub-region. Lagos State government has a 20 per cent equity stake in the Lekki Port project, and is an indication of the faith of the government in the project.
“It has been estimated that this project will facilitate an injection of $2.23 billion for construction and fixed assets into the country. However, there is need for public investment to complement the Lekki Port infrastructure like roads, railway and water infrastructure in order to avoid the present situation that we have at the Apapa and Tin-Can port area of Lagos State,” the governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Idiat Oluranti Adebule, said.
In his remarks, Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Tolaram Engineering Company and China Harbour for the development of the landmark project.
“This will be the first deep seaport in Nigeria. What we have had are river ports. This will help to improve the capacity of Nigerian ports with modern procedure,” he said.
Tolaram Managing Director Haresh Aswani, assured that the project would be completed within three years, and it will generate over $200 billion revenue for Lagos and Federal Government.